New Delhi, July 30: In a rare praise for the Narendra Modi government, senior Congress leader Shashi Tharoor welcomed the Centre's decision to approve the New Education Policy (NEP) 2020. The former Union Minister credited the government of "finally grasping the nettle", but marked dissent over the lack of consultation with the Opposition parties.

Tharoor also offered constructive criticism, claiming that the government has set idealistic targets which lack focus on how feasible it is to achieve them. He also raised concern over the dwindling share for education sector in annual Budgets. New National Education Policy 2020 FAQs: From Implementation to Changes Made to 10+2 Schooling System, Board Exams, Teaching Qualification, All Questions Answered.

"I've advocated revision of the 1986 National Education Policy since my days in MHRD, to bring it into the 21st century. I am glad the Modi Govt has finally grasped the nettle, even if it took them six years to do so. Challenge is to ensure aspiration is matched by implementation," he said.

Shashi Tharoor's Tweet on NEP 2020

"For instance, the goal of 6% of GDP to be spent on education was first articulated in 1948! Every Govt articulates this target and then comes up against its own Finance Ministry. In the last 6 years, Modi Govt expenditure in education has declined in real terms. How will it reach 6%? (sic)," Tharoor asked on Twitter.

The former junior Minister in the HRD Ministry also marked concern over the lack of funds to encourage research activities. This has led to a reduction in full-time researchers in India vis-a-vis other leading countries, Tharoor said.

"The NEP should have offered more tangible and realisable targets for research. Total investment on research and innovation in India declined from 0.84% of GDP in 2008 to 0.6% in 2018. There are currently only 15 researchers in India per 100,000 of population,compared with 111 in China," he said.

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Despite the shortcomings, the change in policy should be lauded and constructively welcomed, tweeted Tharoor. He credited HRD Minister Dr Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank of taking the initiative to rejig the education sector.

"That said, there is much to admire in the New Education Policy 2020 and I look forward to a constructive discussion in Parliament,in which these concerns can be addressed and clarifications given. I commend Dr RP Nishank and his team for their efforts. A better-educated India is vital for  all," Tharoor added.

The education policy, however, has drawn criticism from several quarters for making regional language or "mother tongue" as the primary medium of education till Class 5. The policy further states that it could preferably be extended till upto Class 8. Tharoor, in his series of social media posts, did not deliberate upon the issue.

(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on Jul 30, 2020 04:07 PM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website